Finally – GPRS working on our Powerbook

Time for more celebrations, we’ve just solved a technology bug that has been bothering us for 18 months now.
When bought our G4 Powerbook about 2 years ago, we lost IR connectivity to our then Nokia phone. So we thought it was about time to go GPRS anyway. Our phone contract was due for renewal so we upgraded to a GRPS enabled bluetooth Sony Ericsson phone.

Problem was we just couldn’t get any internet services to work with our Powerbook. When we sat down and read the November 2003 Australian Macworld (amazingly not online) article, we worked out how to get the right settings. We were pretty excited when we found out we could connect OK. But then disspointed when we found we could not get any data through. Try browsing – nothing. Try downloading email. It just timed out.
Want to guess how helpful Optus technical support was? Enough said.
We even tried calling Bleeding Edge on the Jon Faine program, but it was outside his area of expertise. Following Bleeding Edge’s advice we tried posting to several Mac support sites and forums but althoug we got lot’s of helpful suggestions, nothing worked.
At some stage we found a link to Ross Barkman’s site but installing his scripts didn’t make any difference.
Strange thing was we could download email to the phone (painfully slow as it was) but not to the Powerbook. Alas, other priorities took over and we just forgot about it.
That was until about a week ago when we couldn’t get any WAP services on our phone at all. So we decided to give Optus technical support another go. You won’t believe this but we actually got someone helpful on the other end of the line. Someone who tried quite a few things with us including swapping our SIM card to another GPRS phone and eventually got WAP working again. He was going to help us get it working on the Powerbook, but “she who must be obeyed” announced at that very moment that “dinner was ready.” So we had to hang up and said we would call back later.
Alas, when we called back the apparition had disappeared and the answer to why we couldn’t get any internet services on our Powerbook through our mobile phone was basically “Sorry, I don’t know.” The one partly helpful thing this person told us was to check out Ross Barkman’s site although he was obviously reading it from a note because he had never heard of it himself.
Having been imboldened to look at the various settings on our phone from our earlier call, we had a look at the “yesinfo Internet” data account and noticed that there was no DNS address. So we tried putting in Ross’ suggested DNS address for Optus Australia – and guess what? It worked
Now we can sit in cafe’s and check our email and browse the net. It’s not broadband speed but it’s better than the 9600 we used to get through the old IR connection without GPRS.
DNS – it’s really obvious when you think about it, but we didn’t for such a long time.

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